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Be on the Lookout for Transformation:  What examples of transformation have you witnessed or experienced?  Please share them with your ministers.  Send us a note. We have a delicious program theme and we'd love to hear your stories.  "So much that was beautiful and so much that was hard to bear. Yet whenever I showed myself ready to bear it, the hard was directly transformed into the beautiful."(Etty Hillesum)

 Our Church, Our Budget:The Congregation takes a first look at the Operating Budget for 2016 at the Congregational Meeting, Sunday, September 13, 12:45. 

We'll have another update on Parking Lot developments. 

See you there.

 When You've Got a Big Decision to Make:

      1) Consider your Signature Strength.  In the words of Daphne Rose Kingma, "Your own signature strength is a habit of mind or conviction, a steadfast or extraordinary talent, a way of looking at things or dealing with them, which, no matter what your circumstances, will carry your through."  I think our signature strength is a composite of values, character, and resiliency. Perhaps much of the time we live our lives without thinking very much about such matters, but when the dark night of the soul arrives, as surely it will for all of us one or more times in life, a time for reflection, an opportunity for discernment, is thrust upon us.

      2) Consider how you could make matters worse. Really. Imagine the ways you could worsen your situation, how you could make relationships more difficult, engage in self-defeating behavior, or run things into the ground. Taking the high road or higher road is an easier choice once the low road is imagined, even playfully considered.  "Oh, dear, as bad or as difficult as matters are, I could really make things worse. I best not go there!" 

      3) Consider taking, especially when you resist, an extra measure of patience.  Rainer Maria Rilke said, "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a foreign tongue."  Patience is in short supply in a culture that promotes and thrives on the quick download, the latest upgrade, and the omnipresent drive-by.

      4) Consider the wisdom in Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken. The road we eventually take in life does not necessarily surpass all other roads.  The roadwe chose is not the best road. How would we ever know that?  The poet writes his last line, "And that has made all the difference."  But why has it made all the difference?  Be cautious in answering. Humility is called for. Say to ourselves:  "The road I took made all the difference because it is the road I took. It is not better than your road. 

It is not better than all the other roads that I could have chosen.  It is simply the road I am traveling."